Presbyterian Church | Alabama | c. 1850s
Deep in rural Alabama sits this incredible structure, like a dog-eared page reminding us of a very old book. This antebellum Alabama church is abandoned today but was founded in the decade just before the Civil War. Its impressive design was overseen by a skilled architect was likely built by enslaved labor from nearby plantations.
Imagine how much the world around them would change in just a few short years.
Notice the four separate entryways, required for men, women, and enslaved persons to enter separately. The small doorways to the sides of the main doors leading up to the slave gallery are still in tact today but inhabited only by a large and less-than-friendly owl.
The Greek Revival style building is surrounded by 50 graves, dating from 1843 to the most recent in 1955. The final service was held here in 1974.
Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986, it is now privately owned and being looked after as best as possible by its current owners who placed a new roof on the building in the past 5 years. The front doors have been stolen, along with some other wood, and fixtures, but the structure is largely void of vandalism or significant structural damage.
Somewhere down a dirt road far from home, something about standing here brings me a sense of connection to the people who built it. And while their lives, over 160 years ago, were obviously different than mine today, it gives me reverence to know that we stood before the same structure.
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